The paper “Public Service Media, Pluralism and Cultural Diversity in Portugal” has been accepted by the Public Service Media Policies Working Group for presentation at the annual conference of the International Association for Media and Communication Research, IAMCR 2018, in Eugene, Oregon from 20-24 June, 2018.
In this communication we will present the preliminary data of two research studies that we have been conducting and which complement each other: on the one hand, we will present the first global data of the project DIVinTV – Public television and cultural diversity in Portugal: a study on the programming of the Portuguese public generalist channels concerning the plurality of content and cultural expression, diversity, and inclusiveness; on the other hand, we will contextualize this data with the analysis that we have done over the last years on the monitoring of pluralism in Portugal within the framework of the European project MPM – Media Pluralism Monitor (http:// http://cmpf.eui.eu/media-pluralism-monitor/mpm-2016-results/portugal/)
The main objective of these studies is to give a new contribution to a realignment of media content towards the major cultural and societal challenges that the European Digital Agenda and the global Agenda 2030 include; i. e., respectively, the consolidation of an inclusive and diverse knowledge society; and a developed and sustainable global community. The study of the Portuguese media intends only to be a case study in this context, particularly in the scope of PSM programming precisely in the sense of rethinking the role and purpose of PSM in a changing society, fostering inclusiveness, gender equality, the diversity of voices and the plurality of cultural expressions.
The project DIVinTV is focused on a general content analysis of the programming schedules during almost two years (2016/17) in the two public channels, structuring and analyzing the offer under the main content categories, with a particular focus on cultural diversity and inclusiveness, i.e.: youth issues, gender and discrimination; people with disabilities and individuals with special needs; elderly people, representations, identities and experiences of ageing; expressions of diversity, voices from different backgrounds, ethnicities and multiculturalism. Finally this is a project that aims at identifying the program types and formats that lie under the categories of cultural diversity, studying its specific content and its general contribution to the promotion of pluralism, diversity and inclusion, and to fostering an inclusive and multicultural society, through qualitative and quantitative content analyses that cover the program schedules for the period.
In the last decades the generalist channels of the Portuguese public broadcaster (RTP) rarely integrated these kinds of purposes and contents into their programming schedules, since we can only find some examples of these issues in the second public channel (RTP2), and rarely in the main public channel (RTP1). But in the last years something is changing. Our first data allows us to deduce that those agendas and the new European policies have somehow changed the Portuguese Public Service Media. It is now more clear that PSM is following and is more attentive to those agendas, under penalty of losing their own legitimacy if it does not do so.